Barcelona independence referendum?


I thought there were actually more separatists in Barcelona, but even if we believe the organisers’ numbers–audited by the Flemish separatist far-right–only 16.27% (18.14% * 89.7%) of the population support it, and that’s despite having four months to vote along with intensive publicity campaigns to remind them to do so.

Last year 36% of Northern Irish polled said they’d vote for unification with the Republic, and 46.1% of Portuguese and 39.8 of Spaniards would apparently support a union of their countries, but neither is going to happen soon.

So who gives a toss about what 16.27% of the population of Barcelona thinks?

(You’d be slightly–but only slightly–more scared if you believed Giles Tremlett’s mistakes in the Guardian. But the bond markets aren’t that stupid.)

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  1. Not 21.37% then?

    Actually, it’s quite a lot of people. More than I figured would turn out. You know as well as anyone does that Barcelona contains fewer separatists per capita than most other Catalan towns, so I think you’re telling porkies.

    Oh and a Belfast telegraph poll of 1,020 people has some equivalence with 250k+ people turning out to vote? Pull the other one, Trev! If anyone tried to pull this trick in support of separatism, you’d have been all over them like a spiny caterpillar.

  2. Any way you put it, be it 16 or 18 per cent in favour of independence in the Catalan metropolis, it’s always a yawn. Barcelona city has relatively few independentists, and so has the greater metropolitan area, that accounts for 40% or 50% of the total population of Catalonia.

    In terms of numbers a big yawn. And numbers matter in polls.

    Tebots gets his comparisons where he sees fit, I get mine from Kosovo 91: 90% turnout, according to the organisers (like in Barcelona). That one really mattered. Nobody yawned.

    Here: one fifth interested, 80% not. Why is simple arithmetic suddenly such a strange thing?

  3. A good result for Spain’s continued existance, a bad result for ethnic nationalism, a good day all round. The numbers, poor though they were, were a little better for the nationalists than I expected, but it shows when combined with the other “consultes” (what is it about Catalan politics that throws up so many politico-linguistic concepts that exist nowhere else?) there is no burning desire for independence anywhere in Catalonia.

  4. Aww, Tom… just now I have realised you pulled the pine processionary on Trebots. Nasty.

    But I reckon you two are friends. So I’m laughing.

  5. The 21% included children and immigrants who wouldn’t normally be entitled to vote–I know a couple of “voters” who arrived in Spain for the first time a couple of weeks ago. If they’d included household pets the figures would have been even less unimpressive.

    I expected the percentage of loonies to be relatively high in Barcelona partly because of the four months allocated for voting and the amount of money put into publicising the vote, but partly also because if you live in a remote village everyone has the same shape skull as you and you don’t get upset about intruders. Tribal conflict in Africa has virtually always arisen first in urban areas.

    Opinion polls are designed to elicit accurate reflections of opinion cheaper than absurd exercises like this, but here the result was known in advance (nominally separatist parties + a chunk of CDC) and the purpose was simply to tocar huevos in the belief that everyone else will eventually get sick of it and just tell them to fack off. Won’t work–rather than wasting money on this kind of thing they’d be smarter to guarantee to pay each Spaniard say €20K if a national referendum on independence were to give the required result.

    Can I have my tea now?

  6. The 21% doesn’t include children and immigrants: that’s the lower number.

    @Candide – 90% in Kosovo? But that was a binding referendum, no?

    Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think this was a great use of resources, nor do I think that this is the most important issue facing Catalonia at the moment. I just think it’s amusing that the normally rigourous number crunching we get from Trebots is a little hazy on this topic. I know: “Yawn”.

  7. My apologies, you’re right. So with 19.16% of the electorate having voted yes there’s no question that we should move forward with this agenda. However, we may have to leave Gavá behind, where I think (please confirm) that only 3 people voted for the Albanian option.

  8. Tom, that was an unofficial and clandestine referendum organised by the deposed provincial authority (i.e. the Albanian parties) in 1991. 90% turnout, more than 98% in favour of independence. Officially only recognised by Albania, but largely seen everywhere as reflecting the will of the Kosovan Albanians, which were then some 80% of the population.

    That’s to give magnitudes which don’t make you go yawning.

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